Friday, February 22, 2008
SOME RV COMPANIES RECEIVE AN INQUIRY FROM CONGRESS ABOUT FORMALDEHYDE
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Coachmen Industries Inc. today (Feb. 21) announced that it has received an inquiry from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the U.S. House as part of the committee's investigation into formaldehyde levels in travel trailers and other forms of temporary housing provided by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes from 2005 through 2007.
Pilgrim International Inc., Middlebury, Ind., and Nappanee, Ind.-based Gulf Stream Coach Inc., which had a contract with FEMA for up to 50,000 units totaling approximately $521 million, also received letters of inquiry, according to news reports.
Coachmen is a publicly traded company while Pilgrim and Gulf Stream are privately held.
"Coachmen's first priority is and has always been the quality and safety of all of our products," stated Rick Lavers, president and CEO of the Middlebury-based builder. "While Coachmen did not sell any trailers directly to FEMA, we know that a proportionately small number of our products were used by FEMA. Nevertheless, we will make every effort to cooperate fully with the committee's request for information on our products."
The committee, headed by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., has requested that Coachmen provide the requested information by March 7. The company will provide additional details regarding its response at that time.
The Elkhart Truth reported that also included in the inquiry is a series of pointed questions, asking each manufacturer how many units it made specifically for FEMA, why formaldehyde was used in the production of the units and why the maker sold to the federal agency travel trailers that have high levels of formaldehyde. A letter also was sent to FEMA Administrator R. David Paulison.
The request comes on the heels of findings released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding air quality testing on 519 occupied trailers in the Gulf region. The agency found most showed relatively low levels of formaldehyde outgassing, but around one-third had levels that may affect people more susceptible to fumes and a small percentage tested for higher levels.
FEMA MISSPENT FUNDS FROM SALES OF TRAILERS
Friday, February 22, 2008
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) took money from the sale of used travel trailers and inappropriately used it to buy $13 million worth of SUVs, global positioning systems and other items, according to a new government inquiry.
The Homeland Security Department's inspector general found that FEMA misspent millions after the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons that should have either been returned to the U.S. Treasury or used to buy more trailers for hurricane victims, USA Today reported.
"Even allowing for the hectic situation that arose in the aftermath of the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes, FEMA officials at all levels did not take appropriate action to ensure that proceeds from the sale of trailers and mobile homes were properly used," Inspector General Richard Skinner wrote in a report to be released today (Feb. 22).
The report says FEMA spent about $2.9 billion on 230,000 trailers and mobile homes for displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina and other storms. By law, when residents leave the trailers, FEMA may sell them to the public but the money can only be returned or spent on more trailers.
Skinner reported that FEMA also used some of the proceeds for tree removal services, travel expenses and government purchase cards.
"Once again, FEMA has proven to be a poor steward of taxpayer money," House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said.
The IG report is the latest to criticize the agency's post-Katrina spending. In 2006, government auditors found that sloppy errors and fraudulent claims cost FEMA more than $1 billion in disaster-relief funds.
FEMA spokesman James McIntyre said FEMA officials recognized the latest spending problems early last year and put an immediate hold on further use of money from the sale of used trailers.
McIntyre said FEMA "accepts" the findings of the report and has made changes to make sure funds aren't misspent in the future. He added, however, that "FEMA emphasizes that the funds used from the sales of travel trailers and mobile homes were used specifically for what they were originally obligated for – that is, the proceeds were used for disaster relief and emergency assistance."
COACHMEN RV RECEIVES INQUIRY FROM CONGRESS ABOUT FORMALDEHYDE
“Coachmen’s first priority is and has always been the quality and safety of all of our products,” stated Rick Lavers, President and CEO of Coachmen Industries. “While Coachmen did not sell any trailers directly to FEMA, we know that a proportionately small number of our products were used by FEMA. Nevertheless, we will make every effort to cooperate fully with the Committee’s request for information on our products.”
The Committee has requested that Coachmen provide the requested information by Friday, March 7, 2008. The Company will provide additional details regarding its response at that time.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
RECALL: MONACO/HOLIDAY RAMBLER (WINDSHIELD WIPERS)
HOLIDAY RAMBLER / ENDEAVOR 2006-2007
MONACO / DIPLOMAT 2007
MONACO COACH / DIPLOMAT 2006
Manufacturer : MONACO COACH CORPORATION Mfr's Report Date : FEB 13, 2008
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 08V070000 NHTSA Action Number: N/A
Component: VISIBILITY:WINDSHIELD WIPER/WASHER:LINKAGES
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 1733
MONACO IS RECALLING 1,733 MY 2006-2007 DIPLOMAT AND HOLIDAY RAMBLER ENDEAVOR MOTOR HOMES EQUIPPED WITH WIPER SYSTEMS SUPPLIED BY AM EQUIPMENT. THE DRIVE MOTOR LINK BECOMES DISENGAGED DURING OPERATION FROM THE WIPER DRIVE ARM WHERE IT ATTACHES TO THE DRIVE ARM CAUSING THE WIPER SYSTEM TO FAIL.
WHEN THE WIPER SYSTEM FAILS, THE OPERATOR WILL HAVE REDUCED VISIBILITY WHICH COULD RESULT IN A CRASH.
MONACO HAS NOT YET PROVIDED A REMEDY FOR THIS CAMPAIGN. THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING MARCH 2008. OWNERS MAY CONTACT MONACO AT 1-800-685-6545.
MONACO RECALL NO. R08005. CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION¿S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
RECALL: FOREST RIVER (FREIGHTLINER: STEERING)
FOREST RIVER / TSUNAMI 2002-2008
Manufacturer : FOREST RIVER, INC. Mfr's Report Date : FEB 01, 2008
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 08V067000 NHTSA Action Number: N/A
Component: STEERING:GEAR BOX:SHAFT PITMAN
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 89
FOREST RIVER IS RECALLING 89 MY 2003-2008 TSUNAMI MOTOR HOMES BUILT ON FREIGHTLINER CHASSIS AND EQUIPPED WITH ZF MODEL 8018 STEERING GEARS. THESE GEARS MAY HAVE BEEN ASSEMBLED WITH THE INCORRECT RECIRCULATING BALL SPACER. THIS COULD POTENTIALLY ALLOW THE RECIRCULATION BALLS TO ESCAPE FROM THE RECIRCULATION BALL CIRCUIT RESULTING IN A LOSS OF STEERING.
THE OPERATOR MAY NOTICE HIGHER REQUIRED STEERING WHEEL INPUTS, OR THE NEED FOR MORE STEERING WHEEL ADJUSTMENTS WHILE DRIVING IN A STRAIGHT LINE IN COMBINATION WITH METALLIC CRACKING NOISES PRIOR TO A LOSS OF STEERING. LOSS OF STEERING COULD RESULT IN A VEHICLE CRASH.
FOREST RIVER IS WORKING WITH FREIGHTLINER AND ZF TO REPLACE THE STEERING GEAR (PLEASE SEE 07V343 AND 07E049). OWNERS MAY CONTACT FREIGHTLINER AT 1-800-547-0712 OR FOREST RIVER AT 1-574-389-4600.
CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION¿S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
RECALL: MCI (STEERING)
MCI / D4000ISTV 2008
MCI / D4500 2008
MCI / D4505 2008
Manufacturer : MOTOR COACH INDUSTRIES, INC Mfr's Report Date : FEB 06, 2008
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 08V063000 NHTSA Action Number: EQ08002
Component: STEERING:GEAR BOX:SHAFT PITMAN
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 24
MOTOR COACH INDUSTRIES (MCI) IS RECALLING 24 MY 2008 D4505, D4500, D4000ISTV COACHES EQUIPPED WITH TRW STEERING GEARS, MODELS TAS85. THESE STEERING GEARS CONTAIN POTENTIALLY DEFECTIVE SECTOR SHAFTS WITH AN INCORRECT GEAR TOOTH WHICH MAY INTERFERE WITH THE RACK-PISTON TEETH, RESULTING IN A STICKING OR BINDING CONDITION.
THIS CONDITION HAS THE POTENTIAL TO CAUSE THE STEERING GEAR TO STALL AND RESTRICT THE STEERING TURNING ANGLE OF THE VEHICLE WHICH COULD RESULT IN A VEHICLE CRASH.
MCI IS WORKING WITH TRW TO REPLACE THE DEFECTIVE STEERING GEAR (PLEASE SEE 07E101). THE RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING FEBRUARY 2008. OWNERS MAY CONTACT TRW AT 1-765-429-1768 OR MCI AT 1-204-287-4982.
MCI RECALL NO. 296. CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
RECALL: DAMON (FREIGHTLINER: STEERING LINKAGES)
DAMON / ASTORIA 2008
DAMON / ASTORIA PACIFIC 2008
DAMON / TUSCANY 2007-2008
Manufacturer : DAMON MOTOR COACH Mfr's Report Date : JAN 31, 2008
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 08V054000 NHTSA Action Number: N/A
Component: STEERING:LINKAGES:TIE ROD ASSEMBLY
Potential Number Of Units Affected : 126
DAMON IS RECALLING 126 MY 2007-2008 TUSCANY, MY 2008 ASTORIA, AND ASTORIA PACIFIC MOTOR HOMES BUILT ON FREIGHTLINER CHASSIS. THE FASTENERS THAT ATTACH THE STEERING ARM OR TIE ROD ARMS TO THE SPINDLE MAY BE OVER OR UNDER-TIGHTENED.
INCORRECTLY TORQUED STEERING ARM FASTENERS MAY FATIGUE AND FRACTURE WHICH COULD CAUSE A CRASH WITHOUT WARNING.
DAMON IS WORKING WITH FREIGHTLINER TO REPAIR THESE VEHICLES FREE OF CHARGE(PLEASE SEE 07V-306). THE MANUFACTURER HAS NOT YET PROVIDED AN OWNER NOTIFICATION SCHEDULE FOR THIS CAMPAIGN. OWNERS MAY CONTACT FREIGHTLINER AT 1-800-547-0712 OR DAMON AT 1-937-596-6849.
CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.